I would like to share this poem written by my father, Raymond H. Norman Co K 116th Infantry WWII
Amid life's many trophys there are a few which are never displayed among those which you are most proud, such a trophy is : The Rookies Trophy.
Above the grim chaotic din, you hear the battle shout, torn twixt horror from within, and duty from without. A terror, not akin to fear engulfs your mind and soul, for the moment seems so very near when the bells of truth will toll. Your dreams of glory now belied (forgive us if we pray) that God will in his mercy guide our well aimed shots astray. But it's "Move on up you dog face and slaughter as you go, for how can we save this human race when the outfit moves so slow. "The Colonel wants that hill tonight! Then take it sir we will, and you trudge on in bitter fright toward your dragon on the hill. His feared stained face was clearly framed by the helmet that he wore, you have no way to know his name but you'll know him ever more. Oh! there were others after him with frightened faces too, but soon their ghastly forms grew dim and faded from your view. For war your heart will harden and hate your soul will fill, but you will ever seek a pardon for the first man that you kill. Time may ignore the cannon's roar, the tanks grim crunching tread, and the fifty's chipping pock marks on the human wall ahead. These lessor scenes, time will erase, but one is with you still, the fear etched horror on his face is the trophy of your kill. They may have taught you how to fight, with rifle and grenade, or to make a snappy eyes right, at the home coming parade, but there's one thing they didn't teach , nor never ever will, how to cleanse from out your memory , those blood stains on the hill.